MEASURES are being called for to stop travellers setting up camp in Ilkley at a site off Denton Road.

Residents say a permanent solution is needed to stop the camps which have appeared at least three times during lockdown and which they say are breaking Covid-19 restrictions.

Now the the town’s MP is urging Bradford Council to work with him and ward councillors to implement a plan of action.

Robbie Moore said: “It is both frustrating and disappointing that travellers have once again set up camp in Ilkley. I know that both the council and the police have been notified by local councillors. I too have brought this to their attention asking to be kept up to date with enforcement action. I know from being contacted by constituents that there are concerns which need to be raised with the travellers breaching the new temporary local lockdown measures. This is again something which I have raised with both the council and police.

“Going forward, there are serious questions that need to be asked about what measures can be put in place to curb this site from becoming a regular hot spot for travellers. This is something which I have been in discussions with local Ilkley Councillors Mike Gibbons and Kyle Green. I hope that Bradford Council will work with us to implement a plan of action for this area.”

Cllr Gibbons said: “I have had a number of calls and emails and the feeling is that enough is enough and we need to find permanent solutions to deter these people”

“And we need to have very early discussions to stop this happening next year

Cllr Green said: “With regard to the travellers I am pressing Bradford Council to find a permanent solution to stop groups repeatedly turning up and stopping in Ilkley, especially given the damage they can create and the fact they prevent residents being able to use the areas of fields they are settling on.”

Councillor Anne Hawkesworth described the West Holme Field area as being “under threat” and said she was investigating ways of making it secure. She is suggesting the possibility of a ditch or bund around the perimeter to prevent vehicles manoeuvring onto the site, with restricted entrances for council maintenance.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said travellers had left the Denton Road park on Monday morning, but then another group arrived at the Lido grassed area. He said the first encampment had consisted of about 15 tents, as well as cars, vans, horse carriages and horses.

He said: “I do fully accept that Travellers and Gypsies have certain rights but one of their rights is not the ability to break the law.”

He added:”The litter, filth, excrement, and damage being caused to this playing field and park are disgraceful.”